The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently announced approximately $130 million in grant selections through the Low- or No-Emission (Low-No) Grant program, which funds the deployment of transit buses and infrastructure for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses and supporting facilities.
In this competition, FTA focused on the introduction of new technology not commonly found within U.S. transit systems such as advancements to propulsion systems. Forty-one projects in 40 states and the District of Columbia will each receive funding through the program.
“These grants will help communities nationwide deploy the next generation of bus technology to enhance their transportation system,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
Eligible projects include the purchase or lease of buses powered by modern, efficient technologies. These include hydrogen fuel cells, battery electric engines, and related infrastructure investments such as charging stations.
“Since its establishment, FTA’s Low-No Emission grant program has funded over $409 million in new buses, infrastructure, and training, strengthening America’s economy in a fast-growing industry,” said FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams.
Some examples of selected 2020 Low-No grant projects include:
- The City of Tucson, Arizona (SunTran) will receive $3.8 million to purchase all-electric buses and charging equipment. The new electric buses will be in the Sun Tran fleet supporting access to jobs, education, and health services within the Pima County, City of Tucson, City of South Tucson, Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O’odham Nations Opportunity Zones.
- The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will receive $4.3 million for infrastructure upgrades to support its current battery electric bus fleet at its Midvale Bus Maintenance Facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- The City of Racine, Wisconsin (Racine Transit), will receive $3.2 million to purchase battery electric buses and charging stations to improve the efficiency of moving the city’s workforce to jobs and school. Racine Transit carries over one million riders per year, utilizing 35 buses on ten routes and 155 miles of mixed traffic right-of-way.
The Low-No competitive grant program provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses as well as acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities.